and the funding to support them, are rare
in Romania, but preliminary investigations
suggest that the region has high levels of
previously unrecognized biodiversity, as
well as being home to endangered and
endemic plant and animal species [such
as the Romanian loach (Sabanajewia
romanica)] (6). Environmental impact
studies, funded by the European Regional
Development Fund, concluded that dam
and diversion activities should be forbidden because of their potential to negatively
affect priority riparian habitat (such as
alluvial forests), degrade aquatic habitat,
and lead to possible extinction of the otter
population (7). These results were ignored
by Romanian environmental authorities.
Romanian rivers are under enormous
pressure from hydropower developments,
sand and gravel mining, and regulation
works, and endemic species have already
been brought to extinction (8). There
is substantial value, both in terms of
biodiversity and ecosystem services, to
protecting the last free-flowing rivers in
the region. Tragically, Romanian authorities fail to recognize this value, Romanian
conservation laws are arbitrary, and
EU-wide environmental laws such as the
Habitats Directive are failing to provide
much-needed overriding protections. In
developing countries with many societal
challenges, like Romania, the need to
protect nature is overshadowed by other
problems. Consequently, environmental
legislation is often imposed from outside
rather than the initiative of national
policy-makers. In such cases, external
influence can protect threatened and
broadly important landscapes. For EU
member countries, especially those that
are developing, a willingness on the part
of the EU to enforce its environmental
laws is essential. We call on the European
Commission to do so in this case and
others that may arise in countries where
environmental laws are developing, but
landscapes cannot wait.
Rahela Carpa,1 Maria Cornelia Maior,2
1Faculty of Biology and Geology, Department of
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Babes-Bolyai University, 400084, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
2Institute of Technology, Babes-Bolyai University,
Cluj-Napoca, 400294, Romania. 3Cluj-Napoca,
*Corresponding author. E-mail: email@example.com
REFERENCES AND NOTES
1. N. Huisman, “Romania destroys last free flowing river,” European Wilderness Society
2. “Save Defileul Jiului National Park (Romania),” River
Watch (2017); http://riverwatch.eu/en/balkanrivers/
3. EU Directives include the Water Framework Directive
(2000/60/EC), Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), EIA
Directive (85/337/EEC), Environmental Crime Directive
(2008/99/EC), and Environmental Liability Directive
4. T. J. Battin, K. Besemer, M. M. Bengtsson, A. M. Romani,
A. I. Packmann, Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 14, 251 (2016).
5. The IUCN Red List, Lutra lutra ( www.iucnredlist.org/
6. I. Telcean, R. E. Mihuţ, D. Cupsa, J. Protect. Mount. Areas
Res. 9. 15 (2017).
7. L. Rozylowicz, A. Dragu, “Inventory completion and
mapping for mammal species in Jiu Gorge National Park,
Final study, Vol. IV” (Management and public awareness
improving measures in JGNP, SMIS-CSNR code 1314,
2013) [in Romanian].
8. Fish Base, Romanichthys valsanicola ( www.fishbase.org/
TECHNICAL COMMENT ABSTRACTS
Comment on “The extent of forest in
Daniel M. Griffith, Caroline E. R.
Lehmann, Caroline A. E. Strömberg,
Catherine L. Parr, R. Toby Pennington,
Mahesh Sankaran, Jayashree Ratnam,
Christopher J. Still, Rebecca L. Powell,
Niall P. Hanan, Jesse B. Nippert, Colin
P. Osborne, Stephen P. Good, T. Michael
Anderson, Ricardo M. Holdo, Joseph
W. Veldman, Giselda Durigan, Kyle W.
Tomlinson, William A. Hoffmann, Sally
Archibald, William J. Bond
Bastin et al. (Reports, 12 May 2017, p. 635)
infer forest as more globally extensive than
previously estimated using tree cover data.
However, their forest definition does not
reflect ecosystem function or biotic composition. These structural and climatic definitions
inflate forest estimates across the tropics
and undermine conservation goals, leading
to inappropriate management policies and
practices in tropical grassy ecosystems.
Full text: dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aao1309
Response to Comment on “The extent
of forest in dryland biomes”
J.-F. Bastin, D. Mollicone, A. Grainger, B.
Sparrow, N. Picard, A. Lowe, R. Castro
Griffith et al. do not question the quality of
our analysis, but they question our results
with respect to the definition of forest we
employed. In our response, we explain why
the differences we report result from a difference of technique and not of definition, and
how anyone can adapt—as we did—our data
set to any forest definition and tree cover
threshold of interest.
Full text: dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aao2079
Erratum for the Review “Quantum simulations with ultracold atoms in optical
lattices” by C. Gross and I. Bloch, Science
357, eaap9526 (2017). Published online 22
September 2017; 10.1126/science.aap9526
What does it take?
Yoùre one step away
from finding out.
BEING #1 IN IHC
IS NOT ONE THING